While in a foggy Pittsburgh train platform in 1902, Willis Carrier stared through the mist and realized he could create air to control temperature, humidity, air circulation and ventilation, and cleanse the air.
Within a year, he completed his invention to control humidity – the fundamental building block for modern air conditioning. On July 17, 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier designed the first modern air-conditioning system.
In 1913, Willis Carrier developed the Carrier Air Humidifier designed to humidify the air in one room, such as an office or laboratory. It was the first self-contained unit with the fan and motor, eliminator, and sprays all combined into a single, packaged product.
Thirteen years later, in 1926, Carrier introduced the first home air conditioner. The Great Depression slowed residential and commercial use of air conditioning. During the post-war economic boom of the 1950s, air conditioning began its tremendous growth in popularity.
After contributing perhaps one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century, Willis Carrier died October 7, 1950, in New York City. He was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of the Century” in 1998.
The year 2015 marks the 113th anniversary of modern air conditioning.